Fabrics of the Future: sustainable outdoor wear

There can be no purpose more enspiriting than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us. This quote by Edward Wilson pretty much defines the 2010 ISPO in Munich for us. Again and again we fell onto companies and products that are demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, and desire to move away from the eyes-closed manufacture process that has consistently failed people and places. From silk to coconuts, bio ceramics to recycling, here we scratch the surface of the innovations in fabric and clothing that we think are set to shape the future.At Silkbody we discovered a team reawakening ancient techniques to bring us a natural fibre that offers all the technical advantages of contemporary fabrics while retaining silks natural elements of luxury and style. Quick drying, lightweight, thermally balanced, anti-static, flame retardant and anti-bacterial, their range of travel and outdoor wear are ideal for all seasons. Then we spoke to Cocona, who are reweaving waste from coconut husks into their fabrics, resulting in incredible wicking and drying properties, odor management and UV protection. Already working with brands like Marmot, Mammut, and Haglofs, this is a natural technology worth looking out for. We witnessed how Eco Circle, from Tejin, is starting to really catch on. This is a revolutionary closed-loop recycling process which, like Patagonias Common Threads program, is looking to perpetuate the life of polyester threads in our adventure clothes. They can now live on beyond their time on our shoulders, becoming another perfectly performing garment, and at a fraction of the energy and resource usage. Perpetual Recycling in motion. Brands like Patagonia have been involved for a while, and now Quicksilver, MEC and many others are following suit.We also loved the work of companies like Icebreaker who, with their baacode system, are looking to open up the mystery of the manufacture process. Transparency is the key to a sustainable production chain, as we learnt after a long chat with Blue Sign, who have been working hard for years to engage brands in this process. As more leading names embrace these eco standards, it is becoming ever harder for those companies with their heads in the sand to pretend they cannot hear a collective cry for change. Finally, eco designs are becoming damn good looking as well. Take Picture, a new French board sports brand who are making ripples. Totally organic, recycled, and with plenty of attitude, these guys have set out to sensitize riders about their way of thinking and consumption of textile products. As Alex touched Monkee’s ISPO award winning eco / fair trade climbers clothing he hit the nail on the head…..

It feels better doesnt it I mean much better than the fabrics weve always known? Thats just the point. Natural ethical fabrics feel better, perform better and are better for us and the environment. He went too far however when he suggested that he could have jumped a couple of Font climbing grades if he had known about this stuff sooner. But evidence of this shift, the age of restoration is becoming evident in all areas of adventure sport outfitting. Keep following to stay in tune with the latest sustainable gear and kit innovations from the outdoor world. Register and sign onto our e-mag, and enter the draw to win a biking or hiking holiday in the Alps!